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HomeAnswersNeurologymri of brainWhat could cause breathing difficulty in an older adult with a strange response?

My dad is on a ventilator for breathing difficulty and has a strange reaction. Kindly advise.


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vinodhini J.

Published At January 16, 2021
Reviewed AtJanuary 16, 2021

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

A few nights ago, I went into my dad’s room, and I noticed that he was acting bizarre. He was responsive, but he was snoring at the same time. I gave him a banana, and he actually ate it, but this snoring would still happen on and off, so I ended up calling emergency. They took him in, and the following day, a doctor called me and recommend to put on a ventilator due to breathing difficulty. It has been days, and the doctors still have not medically diagnosed him with anything. From the CT scan, no sign of strokes, brain damage, infections, fluid, etc., but they said he is unresponsive. They ordered an MRI and said they would keep me updated. My family is upset. Please give me your feedback.

Answered by Dr. Aida Abaz Quka


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Based on your description, the situation seems to be exceptional. If he was able to eat a banana, it means that he was conscious in a way.

What was his past medical history? Did he suffer from diabetes? This situation could be related to a possible stroke (in the frontal area of the brain or in the midbrain) or a brain infection, with frequent seizures.

Anyway, a brain MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and an EEG (electroencephalography) would help investigate the possible causes underlying this clinical situation.

I hope this helps.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

He has a long history of diabetes (type 2) and also high blood pressure. Over a month ago, he was hospitalized at another hospital, and the neurologist team believed that he had excessive fluid in the brain and a history of mini-strokes.

Answered by Dr. Aida Abaz Quka


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Based on your description, it could be hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or epilepsy seizures.

What are his actual blood glucose levels? Does he have a fever? I would recommend performing an EEG and a brain MRI to investigate the possible causes underlying his situation.

I hope this helps.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Aida Abaz Quka
Dr. Aida Abaz Quka


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